I am making a complaint to Thomsons Holidays about a booking. We were not given the correct breakdown, and were then lied to by a member of staff about being given the information. I have attached the letter that I am sending the their manager. I have recorded every conversation after the booking was made to ensure I have evidence. I am just wondering what are my options for this? Can I report this to atoll? Can I go to the small claims court? Can I suggest a crime has been committed? I was told that by paying the deposit of 350 I am now legally not able to get out of the contract- is this right even with the details of this case? Also, if I have enough evidence, can I suggest that a crime has been committed by the member of staff that has lied to us? Also, is there anything extra I can put in my letter to show I have had legal advice? or anything I need to take out?
I wish to make a complaint following a booking I made on 18/05/2015 (booking reference 1812/45625).
On 18th May I visited your superstore on Princess Alice Drive with my parents to book a holiday to Florida (I had checked the online prices but went into store to book, as I am aware of the price match). I spent some time discussing a holiday booking with Doreen who was very helpful and professional. When we came to make our booking Doreen asked a colleague, Charlotte, to help with the booking. Charlotte then took over the booking to add on the Disney tickets and dining package. She rushed and made a number of mistakes, including losing the booking and having to restart, and spelling my father’s name incorrectly- luckily I noticed and pointed it out. She gave us the following breakdown (I specifically asked for a full breakdown of everything to check the price against the price online):
4 x 1981 (Adult price)
1 x 807 (Child price)
4 x 225 (Adult premium economy)
1 x 298 (Child premium economy – she explained this is more because of taxes)
4 x 306 (Adult Disney Tickets + dining – she also explained the online price would have been £398 each)
1 x 291 (Child Disney Tickets + dining)
I wrote this down at the time and agreed to this breakdown (Doreen confirmed she remembers me writing these figures down, and checking it against the prices online. She also remembers that I said the flights were cheaper than online).
We were given paperwork to sign, read and return to the store.
When I got home and checked the paper work I had been given I noticed the total should have been £11,444 according to the breakdown Charlotte had given me, but the total showing was instead £12,168.50. I phoned straight away the same day when I realised there had been a mistake, and I was told that both Charlotte and Doreen had gone home. The details were not showing on the system so a message had to be left for one of them to call me back the next day.
The next day (19th May 2015), I went back to Thomsons at 9am, and spoke to Doreen and Charlotte. Charlotte added the costs up a number of times and agreed it did not add up to the same and there was a difference of about £724. Doreen said ‘not to worry because there were the two of us here”, and Charlotte said “I was gonna say we can look into it again when the invoice comes through and we can correct it then”. I have a recording of this discussion. Doreen also said she remembered me writing down the full breakdown prices and remembers me checking online to see if I needed to request a pricematch. (She also confirms that when she priced the holiday the 5 x £144 was not on the screen, and that there were only two prices for flights; the 4 x adult flight and the 1 x child flight). Charlotte then told me it may be a charge for an under occupancy. I pointed out that whatever it is I should have been told about it when I specifically asked for the full breakdown of the costs because if I had known I would have asked for the online price match. She then said they would look into it and call me when the invoice is through and said “it doesn’t make sense”. Doreen reassured me that there is nothing to worry about, it is probably a system error, and that they would sort it out as both of them were present.
Charlotte then phoned me about half an hour later to tell me that the extra was 5 x 144 for inbound premium flights, and then told me that “there was a miscommunication” and she said she did tell me this cost as part of the breakdown. I told her “that is a lie, and you know that”. She did not comment. She said that there was nothing more she could do as she insisted once again that she told me yesterday. Again, this was a lie. I asked for the complaints procedure and she told me to write to the manager.
Obviously, if I had been given the extra flight charge information when I specifically asked for it on the day of booking, I would have asked for the online price match which I checked on my phone at the time of the booking (Doreen was a witness and remembers this).
Following this phone call, I went back into the store, where Doreen once again confirmed the prices I had discussed with her when she was pricing the holiday, and she recalled us discussing that less than 300 pounds per person was a very good price for the premium economy, and that I had said that was better than online (I think the price online at the time was around £1,900 for the premium flight upgrade). We waited a time for the manager to finish an online phone call, and then Doreen tried to call the manager over after she had finished, but the manager did not come over. Doreen went back to see the manager, who told her that she was in a meeting and wouldn’t come and see me. She told Doreen to tell me that she had checked the prices, they were right and that Charlotte had told us about the additional 5 x £144 yesterday and there was nothing that can be done. Doreen said there was nothing she could do and she felt terrible stuck in the middle (she was genuinely upset), and told me “I would ask you to just leave it today”. I said to Doreen “you know I’ve been lied to don’t you?” and she nodded her head. She looked close to tears. I asked to speak to any manager, even on the phone, or someone above her manager. Doreen told me I could not speak to anyone else.
I played back some of the conversations to Doreen and asked her to pass on to the manager that have recordings of the conversations and that I am appalled at the attitude, and I will be taking it further, and if necessary to the relevant holiday ombudsman.
The next day I went into store in hope of seeing a manager. The deputy manager was there, but instead I was referred to the assistant manager, Andy, who was very helpful and professional. However, once again, he concluded that nothing can be done today, and having now been into the store four times nothing has been done and I have still not seen a manger. I then made an appointment to see you at 1pm on Friday.
I trust that when conducting your investigations you will ensure that Doreen is asked about her perspective without Charlotte present, and that you will keep an official record of any discussion resulting from this official complaint. I also trust that you will ask them not to discuss the issue with each other or other staff. I would also like to be assured that any potential crime (i.e. deliberate lies to cover up a mistake that will cost a customer a substantial amount of money) will be reported to the police, as I would like to know that this will not happen to someone else who has not recorded their conversations.
Please let me know how this mistake and dishonesty will be corrected.